Re: It doesn't look good for Tina the Tech Writer

Subject: Re: It doesn't look good for Tina the Tech Writer
From: Ken Poshedly <poshedly -at- bellsouth -dot- net>
To: Emoto <emoto1 -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 6 Oct 2016 19:59:05 +0000 (UTC)

One problem I face (besides being in my mid-60s) is that HR and probably others in charge of hiring see only what they want to see. After years of mainstream "journalism" writing (newspaper, PR, publications editing -- all great skills for use in tech writing one way or the other), I segued into full-time tech writing. My first two gigs were in IT tech writing, the second one was a combo (the company made personal computer accessories and also supplied utility software to go along with some of their products).

But then the layoffs came and I took a position doing tech writing for a manufacturer (factory equipment); then the next one and all the rest were heavy construction or related equipment. Yet, many of those machines are microprocessor controlled and I documented that as well.

But HR and hiring folks only see "manufacturing" as the KIND of COMPANY it is and don't bother to see that I covered the operational aspect as well. Heck, with a computer-type monitor screen right in front of the machine operator, running a giant crawler crane, rough terrain crane, truck crane, hydraulic excavator and similar things is not too distant from running a program on your desktop computer.

I'd GLADLY move into full-time software tech writing because that's where it seems the jobs are, at least on Indeed.com. I'm the guy who started a "spirited" discussion some weeks ago about possible plans to leave here and go the contract route, but I'm concerned about age discrimination; the 122-mile round trip drive everyday, the ridiculously low pay and no salary increases due to Asian cultural differences between how business is done there and here, etc, are now just too much to bear, especially with two kids still in college. The public and private replies now make me wonder, but at some point, I need to make a change.

-- Ken in Atlanta


On Thursday, October 6, 2016 3:37 PM, Emoto <emoto1 -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:


On Thu, Oct 6, 2016 at 3:16 PM, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:
>
> Oh, could still happen. If she's willing to work for half the money she
was getting before and with no benefits.

Just as a data point, almost 2.5 years ago, the large company where I had
been a tech writer for 10+ years, decided to lay me off and hand my job to
my assistant in Bangalore, whose skill level was "change 123 Main st. to
124 Main St." LOL. I felt bad for him.

At any rate, within a few weeks, I began doing contract tech writing. Even
considering the benefits loss, I was making more as a contractor. This
continued for several contract extensions, until the project was done.
Then, a couple of weeks later, I noticed another contract open up at the
same firm (an enormous medical device maker) so I interviewed and got that,
partially because of my quality of work during the last contract there,
even though it was for a different group.

A month and a half ago, they brought me on as a full-time employee. My
salary is a fair bit more than at the last full-time gig, and the benefits
I now have are really good.

I'm 59. So... take heart; it can happen. I know Gene is just joking around,
but I thought a positive story couldn't hurt.

I would also encourage people who might be chafing at the demands of doing
software documentation to give consideration to the healthcare field. I am
very happy to have left Financial Services behind. FDA regulatory
implications make for a more reasonable daily work pace than is typical in
my old world of software development.

Bob
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Follow-Ups:

References:
It doesn't look good for Tina the Tech Writer: From: Ron Hearn
Re: It doesn't look good for Tina the Tech Writer: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: It doesn't look good for Tina the Tech Writer: From: Sharon Metzger
Re: It doesn't look good for Tina the Tech Writer: From: Ken Poshedly
Re: It doesn't look good for Tina the Tech Writer: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: It doesn't look good for Tina the Tech Writer: From: Emoto

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